Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom has insisted Swiss striker Florian Kamberi remains very much in his plans despite interest from Croatian side NK Osijek.
Kamberi ended last season as the Easter Road club’s joint-top scorer with 13 goals despite his form having dipped after a fall-out with then head coach Neil Lennon. However, it improved again following the arrival of Heckingbottom as the team rose from eighth place to clinch a top-six finish.
The former Grasshoppers Zurich hitman signed a three-year deal with Hibs last summer following a highly-successful loan spell in which he netted nine times in just 14 appearances and Heckingbottom sees him playing a key role as he reshapes his squad following the departure of 13 first-team players at the end of the season.
Former Swiss Under-21 internationalist Kamberi was often used on the left flank during the second half of the season rather than as an out-and-out striker but, while admitting he liked him in that position, the head coach revealed he sees him playing “narrower and higher”.
Osiek, who finished third in the Prva HNL last season and qualified for the Europa League, are looking to strengthen their squad with new manager Dino Skender said to have a sizeable transfer budget having sold Borna Barisic and Eros Grezda to Rangers last summer for seven-figure sums and, as such, have made an enquiry to Hibs regarding Kamberi’s availability.
But, pointing out that 24-year-old Kamberi remains contracted to Hibs for two more seasons, Heckingbottom, who is hoping a deal can be struck with Reading to bring Scotland striker Marc McNulty back to Edinburgh, said: “Every player has his value, 100 per cent. But Flo is our player and we are looking to build the squad.
“We are not in the position of having to sell, we’re not scratching about desperate to pay bills and things like that. We want to create something, building things looking at this window, then January and next summer, aiming to get stronger.
“We are not looking to sell anyone and Flo is definitely part of our plans going forward.”